Planning & Development Services

County Planning Commission

The County Planning Commission (CPC) is a seven member authority created to review development proposals in unincorporated Bernalillo County.

Board of County Commission

The Board of County Commission (BCC) is a five-member authority that consists of the County Commissioners of Bernalillo County that review developments within unincorporated Bernalillo County, administer laws enacted by the State of New Mexico, and carry out all policies and ordinances.

Board of Adjustment

The Board of Adjustment hears appeals of Zoning Administrator decisions and Community Development Review Authority actions of Bernalillo County, but also makes up the County Planning Commission.


The division of a surface area of land, including land within a previously approved subdivision into two or more parcels for the purpose of sale, lease, or other conveyance or for building development, whether immediate or future.

Comprehensive Plan

The comprehensive plan identifies the areas suitable for development at various levels of rural and urban services, and includes both city and county jurisdictions.

Area Plan

A plan providing specific planning and development guidelines for a defined geographic area.

Sector Development Plan

A plan covering a designated area within the unincorporated area of Bernalillo County that specifies standards for that area’s developments and contains zoning, re-ordinance, and policy recommendations.

Overlay Zone

An overlay zone applies to areas where they are mapped, in addition to the provisions of another zone.

Major Subdivision

A subdivision that consists of six or more lots.

Minor Subdivision

A subdivision that consists of five lots or less.

Site Development Plan

A plan, to scale, that shows all existing and proposed development for a parcel of land and schedule of development.

Impact Fee

Fees that are assessed for public use such as parks, open space, fire/EMS, roadway, drainage, and capacity expanding projects necessitated by - or attributed to - new development in Bernalillo County, outside the incorporated limits of any village or city.

Special Use

Special use allows property owners a specific use to occur on their property which is not a permissive or conditional use in their zone.


A discretionary waiver from the zoning requirements to grant the property owner’s reasonable use of their land.


Annexation is the process in which a property owner changes the jurisdiction under which the land is governed.

Zone Change

A zone change is the process in which the zoning designation of the property is changed.

Zoning Text Change

Changing of wording in an ordinance.

Pre-Application Interview

It is recommended that all prospective applicants contact the Bernalillo County Zoning, Building and Planning Department to schedule a meeting with county staff to discuss development proposal/ application prior to submitting.

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